Starfield – Todd Howard reveals lots of new details

Bethesda has made a name for itself and a titanic place in the universe of rich and ambitious RPGs. So the announcement of a new franchise in 2018 by the studio behind The Elder Scrolls and Fallout surprised and excited fans of the genre. After a trailer in 2021 and finally a gameplay video in 2022 during the Microsoft and Bethesda Game Showcase, confirming that it will indeed be an RPG worthy of the studio’s other productions, Bethesda has just inaugurated a new series of videos YouTube named the Constellations Questions. Which, it seems, are called upon to settle down and regularly answer certain questions until the game’s release approaches.

In the inaugural episode of October 13, 2022

Todd Howard, the emblematic director of Bethesda and game director of the game, therefore released new information on the space RPG to come. First asked about what prompted him to embark on the Starfield project , Todd mentioned two old games that marked him when he started in the industry: Sun Dog, where the player explored space with its own ship, and Traveller, a very realistic sci-fi game that works like a paper role-playing game.

After joking about the analogy between discovering that those old games were limited by the memory of PCs at the time and how games produced by Bethesda are particularly memory hungry, he clarifies that, for him, Starfield is rather “hard sci-fi”, that is to say quite realistic and evolving in a credible universe governed by scientific advances, but that there will be compromises so that the gaming experience remains pleasant and avoids “punishing ” the player.

We know, for example, that originally the player’s ship had a fuel gauge to manage, and that in the event of an outage, the ship found itself drifting in space without hope and that a beast game over. But the studio decided that this would be frustrating for the players and this mechanic was replaced by a limit of distance covered by the amount of fuel present in the ship. It is therefore no longer possible to crash into space where, anyway, no one would hear you scream. 

Some features are then quickly shown in the video

  • Dream House: You own a luxurious and customizable house on a peaceful planet. Unfortunately, you have to pay a mortgage of 50k credits every week to Gal Bank;
  • Empathetic: You are deeply connected to the feelings of the people around you. Performing actions that your companion likes will grant you a bonus in combat effectiveness. But performing actions that he/she disapproves of will have the opposite effect;
  • Extrovert: You are a people person. You use less oxygen when adventuring with a companion, but more when alone (cannot be combined with Introvert);
  • Settler of the Free star Collective: You get access to Free star Collective specific dialogue options and better rewards for missions given by this faction. But fines from other factions are higher (cannot be combined with any other faction allegiance trait);
  • Revered Hero: You’ve won the attention of a pesky “adoring fan” who will come and annoy you from time to time, but he’ll also give you gifts…
  • Introvert: You really need to be alone sometimes. You have more stamina when adventuring alone, but less when adventuring with another human companion (cannot be combined with Outgoing);
  • Child Affairs: Your parents are safe and you can go visit them at home, but 10% of the money you earn will automatically be transferred to them;
  • Neon Street Rat: You grew up on the unforgiving streets of Neon. You get access to new dialogue options and better rewards on Neon but fines you from other factions are higher (cannot be combined with any other faction allegiance trait);
  • Enlightened Elevated: You have grown as a member of the Enlightened. You gain access to a special chest full of items in the House of the Enlightened on New Atlantis, but lose access to the Sanctum Universum chest (cannot be combined with another religion trait);
  • High Universal: You grew up as a member of the Sanctum Universe. You gain access to a special chest full of items in the Sanctum Universe on New Atlantis, but lose access to the Enlightened One chest (cannot be combined with another religion trait).

Finally, the dialogue system is briefly discussed. While it’s still the classic Bethesda games dialogue formula where the camera zooms in on the speaker’s face to see their reactions, Starfield ‘s now works with a persuasion point system where players can try to influence an interlocutor by spending their points and expecting better results. Todd Howard points out that the game currently has over 250,000 lines of dialogue, where Fallout 4 had 111,000 and Skyrim “only” 60,000, to illustrate the ambition and scale of the game.

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